Step 7: Other stuff

OK, now you have a shell, but it takes more than a shell to make a shelter a home. Here are some brief notes to start your thinking from. This is incomplete, so you will need your imagination from here on, or wait for future installments of this instructable.

1. Water Proofing - Cardboard falls apart fast when wet. Paint it with some kind of roofing paint or put a plastic laminate on the outside. Or use a material that is water proof (see materials below).
2. Doors and Windows - Use framing windows for RV's or just cut flaps in the sides. The obvious place for the door is in the overlapped wall section where the strength is greater.
3. Floor - Make the bottom floor flaps longer to get complete coverage. Or use something removable like a plastic sheet or Coroplast.
4. That Hole in the Top - The roof may be extended all the way to a point. The hole comes in handy for ventilation and lighting. Either way, the roof needs a cap at the top to keep the rain out. Use translucent material for natural lighting. Include a vent for ventilation.
5. Materials - Corrugated cardboard folds easily, but needs water proofing for outdoor use. Coroplast is an amazing material: water proof, inexpensive, light, and durable. You may need to cut away one layer of material to make creases that folds neatly. I use a Dremel with a cutting tool. Making wider cuts makes folding easier. Plywood or foam board may be used, with many advantages, but more tape is need to hinge everything together.
6. Number of Sides - 3 or more. 4 sides for the traditional square. The more sides, the rounder and more yurt-like the structure.
7. The bottom of the pleats in the roof must slope outward to drain water to the outside of the structure. If you change the design, do some calculations to make sure the pleat slope is correct, or build a model from paper to check the design.
<p>Awesome Idea, and just need to add polyurethane Spray to waterproof is all. Works great. Made a newspaper boat, and sprayed it with polyurethane and it worked great!</p>
very good
Waxed Cardboard. Like the kind of boxes used for veggies.<br>
Yes wax helps. Sometimes they laminate one side with plastic to waterproof. Paint also work.
Very nice design concepts. I can see this as an alternative to a flimsy camping tent for wet weather camping or extended camping trips. More of a semi-permanant structure. Of course it would need to be made out of something other than cardboard boxes for that type of use. Very nice job developing an idea! Hopefully this can be a catalyst for other people to explore this concept.
Thanks for your comments. My next instructable shelter will be made from 4'x10' Coroplast sheets, a step up in durability from cardboard. Every material has its advantages and disadvantages, and the material selected will be a compromise between these for the given application. Cardboard may fall apart in damp weather, but it may be advantageous to have a material that can be recycled, composed, or burned for fuel at the end of its life. Coroplast degraded under ultraviolet light, which could be a benefit if we don't want the stuff cluttering up the environment for the next century.

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Bio: EE, retired
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